Summer Geopoetics News

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Our Spring Gathering with the International Futures Forum went well and has led to ongoing discussions about Nature, Creativity and Well-being. This summer is proving equally fruitful with the great news that the Big Lottery is to award £754,910 to build an Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing in which we hope to rent a work space, and my growing feeling that there is a widening community of like minds out there who are active in their own ways in the field of geopoetics.

Wisdom of the Wildwood, an essay by Chris Salisbury in the second issue of EarthLines magazine  just out, discusses, just as we have, the need for outdoor education for young people and the growth of Forest Schools to overcome ‘nature deficit disorder’. Geopoetics folk Nancy Campbell, Douglas Robertson, Allan Harkness and I all have work in it. The Dark Mountain Project will publish its third book around the time of its Uncivilisation Festival in Hampshire in August. Over in Colorado, Rick Visser, writing about landscape painting, quotes the Chinese poet Lu Chi that ‘writing is in itself a joy …. for it is being, created by tasking the great void’ and yesterday a man from Morocco told me that ‘a writer is an ocean of ideas’. I like the sound of that.

Scotia Deserta

Scotia Deserta by Doug Robertson from Earthlines Magazine.

Anyway, here are some Geopoetics events you would be most welcome to take part in and other ways you can contribute to developing our work:

Saturday 18 August at 1.30 – 3.30 pm at the Scottish Poetry Library, off Canongate, Edinburgh: World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down. Reading and Conversation: Christian McEwen and Bill Eddie in Conversation.

Christian McEwen will read from her ground-breaking new book World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan Publishing, 2011) and will discuss with Bill Eddie, Scottish Centre for Geopoetics Council member, how ‘slowing down’ is essential to being creative in our age of frantic living and hurry sickness.

This is a most important SCFG/SPL partnership event which will greatly assist all of us to develop our understanding of the sources of our creativity. Tickets £7/£5 concessions in advance from SPL at 0131 557 2876 or Jennifer Williams Please spread the word.

Sunday 2 September at 11 am A Wild Walk through 2 London Boroughs from Alexandra Palace through two Nature Reserves to the Islington Ecology Centre for lunch and a talk about Geopoetics.

This is a free, innovative event organised jointly by the Islington Ecology Centre and the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics for members and interested others in the south. Contact either Gordon Peters at or Richard Meyers at to book your place. Full details attached.

Saturday 15 – Monday 17 September Coast to Coast II: a residential weekend on the Ross of Mull based at the Creich Hall & Hostel near Fionnphort, close to Iona.

There will be lots of time to explore the Mull coast individually or with others and to ruminate on some of the ripples which have emanated from there such as lava flows, missionary travellers along St Cuthbert’s Way, Atlantic Ocean links to the American eastern seaboard, Atlantic weather systems, and whatever takes your fancy.

We will be joined by the Ross of Mull poets during the day and at a social evening on the Saturday. All the work that comes from the weekend will be considered for inclusion in the second issue of Stravaig, our online journal. The cost will be £40 for 2 nights’ accommodation with the option of a further £10 for the Friday night. Places are limited, so book now by sending me a cheque for the full amount ASAP and not later than 10 August if you’d like to take part.

Stravaig issue 1 with a range of essays, poems and artwork around the theme of the Legacy of Henry Thoreau is available to read here

Submissions for issue 2 on the theme Coast to Coast should be sent to Elizabeth Rimmer at not later than Thursday 1 November 2012.

Support the Atlantic Islands Centre: Donate and Buy A Slate

The Atlantic Islands Centre on the Isle of Luing will provide permanent heritage and arts exhibition space, a café restaurant, an arts & crafts shop, two work spaces, and a community hub with modern ICT facilities for learning, health promotion and leisure for the people of Luing and visitors.

Although the main funding has almost been achieved, the Isle of Luing Community Trust still needs to raise more funds to equip it fully. You can help by donating and buying a slate for a minimum of £5 per slate. Your name(s) will be inscribed on the slate(s) and on the Slate Roll of Honour to be displayed in the Centre.

Cash or cheques (payable to Isle of Luing Community Trust) should be sent to the Treasurer: Alastair Fleming, 23 Cullipool, Isle of Luing, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4UB. PayPal payments can be made at or at the Facebook page which you are encouraged to Like. If you are a UK taxpayer, please download a Gift Aid form from the Trust website and complete and return it to me along with the name(s) to go on your slate(s). This will increase the value of your donation by about 25% and can be offset against your tax.

These two films I submitted to We Are Northern Lights show just what a special place Luing is and why it deserves your support:


To develop our work of raising awareness of geopoetics we need new members and existing members to renew their annual membership (£10/£5 unwaged). If you value what we do, please send a cheque made out to the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics to Bill Taylor 7 Wellpark Terrace West, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8HU. If joining for the first time, please include the completed form attached. You can also pay online by PayPal at

I hope you can come to some of these events and that you will join us or renew your annual membership.

Norman Bissell
Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
Mo Dhachaidh
51 Cullipool
Isle of Luing
PA34 4UB
tel. 01852 314322

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